Visual Culture

This unit is focused on the act of looking and the role of images and representations in our world. After studying current cultural theory about images, we will apply these concepts to our viewing of films.

Essential Questions

In addition to our class Essential Questions, this unit asks:
  • What is the human impulse to reproduce the world around us in image form?
  • What is the value of art?
  • What is the tension between an “original” and a “reproduction”?
  • What truth is captured in an image?

What you should be able to do as a result of this unit

  • Articulate your understanding of the need and desire for humans to create re-images of their world
  • Define your own idea of the value of art
  • Discuss and analyze the different ways cinema captures a “truth”

Fri 9/27

Intro to Unit

Thurs 10/3 (Per 6) Fri 10/4 (Per 3)

  • Working with your assigned group, you will identify the new information, significant information, key terms, and confusing information for us to discuss the text
  • Find another image that relates to your assigned section of Practices of Looking. Print it out! so that you may include it on your group’s poster to help support the main ideas of your section and apply it to your own visual culture. Then, write a response in your journal about how the image connects to your topic. Use both details from the image and evidence from the text to support your understanding.

Fri 10/3 (Per 6) Mon 10/6 (Per 3)
cont. with prepping for presentations

Presentations on Practices of Looking

  • Applying understanding to images

Tues 10/7
Introduction to original vs. reproductions, documentaries, and Banksy

John Berger Ways of Seeing — Watch the video below and Ways of Seeing Viewing Guide

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

HW: Finish prep for quiz on concepts

Thurs 10/ 9 – Tues 10/14
Introduction to original vs. reproductions, documentaries, and Banksy

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Discussion Prep

Wed 10/15
Socratic Seminar on Exit

  • Tracking your partner

Thurs 10/16
Cave of Forgotten Dreams

  • (9.20-19.02 & 38-48)

HW: Reading and annotating  The Allegory of the Cave_ and Plato’s Cave Questions

Fri 10/17
Reviewing the cave

  • What is the concept of the allegory of the cave?
  • How does it affect what you see?
  • How does this apply to film?


What do you know about Marie Antoinette?

Mon 10/20 – Wed 10/22
Marie Antoinette and Marie_Viewing_Questions


HW:  Classroom response:  How are the “shadows” (the film) affecting what you believe? Your response should discuss the myth of photographic truth and apply specific scenes and details from Marie Antoinette to support your discussion.  An excellent response will start with a compelling thesis and use details from the film to fully support your discussion.

Thurs 10/23
Final assignment overview and prep for trip to MoMA
Mon 4/16
Read overview of assignment, choose concept, and submit the proposal

Tues 4/17

Wed 4/18
Drafting the introduction about your concept

cont. outline

HW:  submit the introduction

Thurs 4/19
drafting & conferences

Fri 4/20
drafting and conferences

Mon 4/23
Final in-class work day

Tues 4/24
Submit essay on google doc with images and text